On Wednesday and Thursday, 4th and 5th October, we caught two Mediterranean Shags near the town of Izola and equipped them with GPS telemetry devices. The birds were named Ari and Šime. This is the first case of GPS telemetry applied on birds in Slovenia. The aim of the telemetry of Shags in the project SIMARINE-NATURA is to collect data about their home ranges in the period of their summering at Slovenian sea. These data are crucial for identifying the new marine Natura 2000 sites for the Mediterranean Shag in Slovenia.
The data from the GPS loggers is transmitted through GSM and we daily follow it on the telemetry panel accesible through internet. Ari, a 1st year individual, was staying around the town of Izola for the first couple of days and went fishing at sea as much as 2 km from the coast several times during the day. On Monday, 8th October, it travelled to Debeli rtič on the north, where it spent the night. The next day it returned to the vicinity of Izola. Šime, an adult Shag, mostly stays very close to the shore during the day where it probably forages on fish in very shallow water. It travels between the towns of Lazzaretto and Strunjan. It seems that both birds were at least some time in the 350-member group of Shags observed yesterday near Izola.
At least 18 more Mediterranean Shags are going to be equipped qith GPS telemetry devices during this project, and they will be tracked during next summer and autumn. Currently we are using GPS loggers of a Polish producer ECOTONE (www.ecotone.pl).